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Coronavirus numbers spiking

Coronavirus numbers spiking

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Sharp uptick in positive cases in state, county as testing becomes more widely available

[email protected] While eight deaths — the total number of COVID-19 fatalities in Crittenden County through last Friday — has to be considered almost a best-case scenario considering projections at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, those eight deaths only paint part of the picture of how inundated the community and the state are with the virus, as an expansion of testing has seen to a massive leap in the number of positive cases here in Crittenden County and around the state.

Last week, Arkansas saw its single-largest one-day jump in positive cases.

Crittenden County Judge Woody Wheeless relayed the news to the community. “Today, the governor announced the single highest daily number of new positive cases since the state started keeping data,” said Wheeless. “He reported 455 new cases with 229 coming from the Forrest City prison and the other 226 coming from the communities across the state.

He did say that they are watching this closely.”

Wheeless explained the main reason for the increase in positives is increased testing and the test being more available.

“The positivity rate with the new tests given was less than 5%, which is good news,” said Wheeless, before noting the local positive rate is double the state average.

“With 2,433 tests given, our county has a positivity rate of 10.3%,” he said.

“Dr. Smith said today that they will be coming to Crittenden County on May 30th to do more testing here. They will be testing those who have symptoms and those without symptoms but could have been exposed to someone who is positive.”

The cumulative total positive cases in Arkansas stands at 5,458.

The top counties reporting new positives:

• Yell – 33

• Washington – 26

• Benton – 27

• Union – 19

• Craighead – 17

• Crittenden – 17

• Pulaski – 13

• Pope – 13 “We need to continue to practice social distancing, washing hands, using hand sanitizer and wearing masks when necessary,” said Wheeless.

Crittenden County & COVID-19 by the numbers

• Crittenden County Positives – 267 (Up 17)

• Crittenden County Negatives – 2,237 (Up 226)

• Crittenden County Recoveries – 204 (Up 2)

• Crittenden County Deaths – 8 (unchanged) Crittenden County Active Cases – 55 (Up 15) Another announcement last week by Governor Asa Hutchinson was that community and school team sports are allowed to resume activities, albeit under COVID-19 restrictions and guidelines, beginning Monday, June 1.

County Judge Woody Wheeless

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